Russian Wagner soldiers appear to attack their commander
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Yevgeny Prigozhin has once again challenged the Russian military as he accused it of “treason”. The leader of the Wagner Group – a private military group that is helping the Russians in Ukraine – claims his men have been denied ammunition supplies by the military.
In a voice message shared on Tuesday, Prigozhin said: “[Moscow’s] chief of general staff and the defence minister give out orders left and right not only to not give ammunition to PMC Wagner, but also to not help it with air transport.
“There is just direct opposition going on, which is nothing less than an attempt to destroy Wagner. This can be equated to high treason.”
Prigozhin also claimed that Russian military high command have stopped the delivery of equipment such as shovels for digging trenches.
Russia’s defence ministry has denied Prigozhin’s allegations but did not mention him or his group directly.
They said that “all requests for ammunition for assault units are met as soon as possible” and promised new deliveries on Saturday.
A statement from the ministry added: “Attempts to create a split within the close mechanism of interaction and support between units of the Russian [fighting] groups are counter-productive and work solely to the benefit of the enemy.”
This isn’t the first time Prigozhin has hit out at the Russian military. He previously claimed Moscow’s “monstrous bureaucracy” was hampering its military objectives.
He has also accused the Russian military of attempting to “steal” victories from Wagner.
Prigozhin is a long-time ally of Vladimir Putin. He even earned the nickname ‘Putin’s chef’ as his catering company was contracted for events at the Kremlin.
Now, his military group is playing a key role in the fighting in Ukraine.
In September, footage emerged of Prigozhin recruiting Russian prisoners. But last month, Prigozhin released a statement saying prisoners will no longer be recruited.
He said: “We have completely discontinued the recruitment of prisoners into Wagner PMC. Those who work for us now are fulfilling all their obligations.”
It has been reported that Wagner signed up between 40,000 and 50,000 prisoners from jails across Russia.
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Chechen leader Ramzan Kadyrov, also an ally of Putin, has expressed interest in forming a similar private military group.
In a post on Telegram, Kadyrov said on Sunday that the Wagner Group has achieved “impressive results”.
He said: “We can say confidently that Wagner has shown its mettle in military terms and drawn a line under discussions about whether or not such private military companies are needed.
“When my service to the state is completed, I seriously plan to compete with our dear brother Yevgeny Prigozhin and create a private military company. I think it will all work out.”
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